Under massive pressure from immigration advocates, Democrat President Joe Biden has promised to have the Department of Justice appeal a federal court ruling in favor of Texas and eight other Republican-led states which declared illegal DACA, the Obama-era program preventing the deportation of young illegal immigrants.
In today’s address, Biden called the US District Court decision “very disappointing”.
DACA has prevented the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, young people smuggled illegally into the United States as children, or who overstayed their visas.
DACA allowed the youngsters in question to remain and work in the US; its beneficiaries are known as “dreamers” as per the Obama administration’s designation, and many of them have been in the country for over a decade.
DACA doesn’t offer a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrant youngsters in question but the Democrats have been trying unsuccessfully to achieve such an option with their so called DREAM Act, which they haven’t been able to pass.
Even though the ruling doesn’t affect immigrant children already covered under DACA, according to Biden, the federal court ruling bodes an “uncertain future” for numerous young immigrants.
Dreamers, time to wake up!
Besides vowing a legal appeal, the Democrat President also reiterated his calls upon Congress to adopt new legislation that would bring about a permanent solution of the dreamers’ situation.
A total of nine states have filed the lawsuit against DACA: Texas, West Virginia, South Carolina, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Nebraska.
Their arguments have been that as President of the United States, Barack Obama didn’t have the necessary authority to establish the DACA program since it ignored Congress.
As he agreed with their argumentation, Andrew Hanen, US District Judge in Houston, issued a ruling banned the approval of new applications by the US government, while leaving the program intact as far as existing recipients are concerned.
In today’s statement, Joe Biden urged the US Congress to go ahead with the adoption of legislation (i.e. the so called DREAM Act), which would “permanently protect” those covered so far by DACA program.
He obvious views the granting of a pathway to citizenship to “dreamers” as the only option for guaranteeing stability and security for them, and declared that only Congress can make that happen.
Biden emphasizes that he has called “repeatedly” on Congress to go ahead and pass the so called “American Dream and Promise Pact”.
He stated that dreamers “have lived in fear” for “too long” now, and that it is his “fervent hope” the new legislation will be passed.
Back in March, the House of Representatives did approve a draft “DREAM Act” legislation, which offered a pathway to citizenship but the draft law was blocked in the Senate by the Republican Party.
Immigration advocates are also trying to get a similar provision passed as part of the massive budget legislation this year although it remains to be seen whether they would be capable of surmounting the GOP’s opposition.